Babies born before the full gestational period are not fully developed. There are different levels of prematurity, and generally the risk to the baby's health increases the earlier the birth is - babies at highest risk are those born before week 26.
Around 60,000 babies are born prematurely each year in the UK and many suffer lifelong consequences as a result. Premature birth is the leading cause of neonatal death in the UK.
If we are to improve outcomes for babies it is crucial that we focus on research to improve prediction, prevention and treatment of preterm labour.
A 'premature' or 'preterm' baby is one that is born before 37 weeks. If your baby is born early - also called 'premature' or 'preterm' - they may need special care as they may not be fully developed.
Around 60,000 babies are born prematurely each year in the UK and many suffer lifelong consequences as a result. Preterm birth is the leading cause of neonatal death in the UK.
Jo from Intrepid Bebe has written a beautiful poem about her time in hospital with her premature baby girl.
Emilia Grabarczyk's parents were warned her chances of survival were slim due to being so very small. She's now nine months old.
Mother's lullaby is a hit as preemie babies are found to respond well to the sound of their mother's singing
Test have found that the sound of a mother's singing can help stabilise a premature newborn’s breathing rate.
Inspirational Olympic record breaker weighed just twice the weight of his Olympic Gold medal when he was born three months prematurely
Wayde van Neikerk, born at little more than one kilogram, has gone on to break an Olympic record in the men's 400m.